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If you imagine a film starring Brad Pitt, made in 2014, depicting the story of an American tank crew moving inside Germany during the last months of the World War II, you will most likely imagine exactly what “Fury” looks like. Dirt, mud, grit, spectacular explosions, vicious killing machines, a couple of individuals who should not have died but do, a couple of Nazis who could have been captured but are just executed on the spot instead, and a very unlikely survival in what I found to be a terribly cowardly contrived ending … “Let’s show how terrible and cruel this war really was”, somebody certainly said at one of the script meetings, and the only problem with this is that we have kind of seen it all before… so they start where “Private Ryan” and “John Rambo” have exited the stage, taking on the big calibers and showing how those can blow human limbs and all other body parts to smithereens, what a terrible thing an anti-tank missile is when it’s directed against the tank you are sitting in, and what a great thing it is when it’s directed against the enemy.

This is not done poorly, it is just a bit conventional, does add very little in terms of visual style or story to the massive oeuvre of World War films. What is spectacular is the “silent and awkward scene involving civilians which will not end well”, where we learn about a particular feature of German women: they seem to very keen on having sex with whoever just killed their husbands, parents or children. The history of the German  libido, it seems, needs to be rewritten!

I am not sure whether the film was promoted as a serious effort in processing war experiences or as a great autumn bang-pow-kawooom movie. If the former, the film failed miserably. If the latter, this kind of works, there are some nice tank-on-tank scenes in particular, even though I have to admit I was rooting for the German Tiger tank, as it was more pretty and it was fighting bravely one against three.

Even though I did not think as much of David Ayer’s previous directorial effort “End of Watch” as others did, that still was two thirds of an excellent movie, and upon reading his name I was disappointed to see something as conventional, mainstream and sometimes dumb as “Fury”. Fallen into Hollywood’s money trap? Maybe into Brad Pitt’s money trap rather, it seems recently the films he produces or co-produces do end up less ambitious than they started out…

(BTW: When I saw the title on the cinema listing, first thing I thought was there is a remake of that tv show with the black horse we loved as kids. Would have been more honest…)

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/fury_2015/

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